These HIIT Treadmill Workouts Will Have You Gassed in No Time

Man running indoors on treadmill
Man running indoors on treadmilladriaticfoto / Shutterstock

The treadmill, better known as the human hamster wheel, has earned its nickname because of its droning monotony. Many lifters have a built-in resistance to this piece of equipment because it’s hard to make running in place exciting. There’s no change of scenery to provide a distraction, which is why HIIT treadmill workouts are the way to go.

 

 

High-intensity sessions are the best bang for your buck when it comes to conditioning and fat loss. And you’ll see with these seven workouts, there’s nothing to be bored about here. You’ll be too out of breath to lament how long you’ve been training on a stationary belt.

It should go without saying, these HIIT treadmill workouts all demand a proper warmup. Try this dynamic warmup, and if you need more help opening tight hips, add these drills.

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These HIIT Treadmill Workouts Will Have You Gassed in No Time

Workout 1: Sprint to Backward Incline Walk

Directions: Stand on the sides of the treadmill and lightly hold the hand rails, then set the belt to your ideal sprint pace (depending on your ability). Once it’s up to the right speed, carefully transfer onto the belt and sprint for 30 seconds, then immediately slow the belt down to a slow walking pace (around 2.5 mph is a good goal), but add one twist: Hike the incline of the treadmill up to level 10, and walk backward for 2 minutes. Alternate between 30-second forward sprints and 2-minute incline backpedals for 15-20 minutes.

Pro tip: It’s okay to gently hold the railings of the treadmill for the backward walk to make sure you’re in the right spot on the belt. Just don’t completely rely on them to support your body weight.

Workout 2: 10/30s

Directions: Sprint at one notch below your top treadmill speed for 10 seconds. Stand on the sides of the treadmill for 30 seconds of rest. Repeat for 10 rounds.

Pro Tip: Treat this as a finisher to any workout to jack up your metabolism in a short period of time.

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Workout 3: Self-Powered Brutality

Directions: Hold the front rails of an electric treadmill that’s been turned off, and set the timer on your phone. Perform a sprint by keeping your hands in place, and pushing hard with your legs to get the belt moving. Keep driving your legs for 30 seconds. Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat for 10-15 rounds.

Pro tip: Stay “low” and imagine the same mechanics you’d use for a sled push; that makes this movement easier to pull off.

Workout 4: Cardio Cross Trainer

Set up a kettlebell, and a pair of dumbbells on the floor near a treadmill. Perform this cross-training circuit for 3 total rounds:

Set 1

  1. Treadmill Jog x 3 minutes
  2. Kettlebell Swing x 25 reps
  3. Pushups x 20 reps
    Rest 2 minutes

Set 2

  1. Treadmill Jog x 3 minutes
  2. Dumbbell Bentover Row x 20 reps
  3. Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 15 reps
    Rest 2 minutes

Set 3

  1. Treadmill Jog x 3 minutes
  2. Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift x 20 reps
  3. Dumbbell Renegade Row x 10 reps each side
    Rest 2 minutes

Pro Tip: This workout is on the longer side, so don’t add anything to it.

Workout 5: Ladders

Directions: To perform a ladder, start by walking for 2 minutes, then jogging for 1 minute, then fast running/sprinting for 30 seconds. Then, stand on the sides of the treadmill as you return the belt speed to walking pace, and repeat. That’s one ladder; it should take just under 4 minutes total. Perform 5 total rounds.

Workout 6: Hills

Directions: On a flat gradient, perform a moderate-paced treadmill jog for 1 minute. On the turn of the next minute, jack the incline up to 10, and continue the jog on the steep incline for 1 more minute. Continue to alternate between flat and inclined runs for 12-15 minutes.

Workout 7: Prisoner Walk

Directions: Post-workout, set the incline of a treadmill to a medium grade, then jog at a fast pace for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to walking pace (but don’t lower the incline) and perform a prisoner-stance walk (that means interlacing hands behind head, keeping elbows wide without pulling on head). Walk for 2 minutes. Alternate between incline run and prisoner-stance walk for 12-16 minutes. This sounds simple, but it’s much more demanding than meets the eye. Maintain a proud chest; don’t slump forward.

 

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